Letter to the Secretary of State from Pokesdown Community Forum

Dear Secretary of State,
Re: Pokesdown Railway Station, 42 steps.
 

Since Bournemouth Council commissioned the attached report in 2009 population numbers in Pokesdown have increased greatly, so have businesses, and with new technology the cost of installing lifts should have correspondingly decreased.

Micronav ATC Simulation and Training Systems have recently re-located and staff are within a short walking distance from the station. Because of a station on their doorstep Londoners are also choosing to move to Pokesdown, splitting their working days between home and London.


The beauty of our station is because it’s situated in the heart of a residential community with excellent bus and rail links, we don’t need a car park, residents can easily walk from home. Developers state in their design & access statements there are good rail links to London and the West, yet despite these positive reasons for improvement and accessibility for all, we are continually stone walled and our letters ignored. 
 
Below are comments from a local resident describing our situation perfectly. 

 
Here in Pokesdown, Bournemouth, Dorset, we are
collectively a diverse and committed community who have worked tirelessly for a
number of years now to seek improvements to our local train station.
We have an ever increasing footfall not only from our local community
but from being the direct and nearest link to our premiership football stadium.

These levels of visiting people, including holiday makers and tourists,
have increased the use of the train station and continue to do so.
 
We have a growing number of families with under fives, disabled, and
mobility restricted residents all at a disadvantage, this is not right when
government policy is to be inclusive and needs led.
Families using prams/buggies, and young children with a disability all
require working lifts to be able to reach the platform and need safety and
supervision to do so.
 
Elderly residents with wheelchairs or walking frames, including the
disabled,  also require working lifts for them to access the platform.
These mobility restricted residents require a greater level of safety and
accessibility.
 
If you live a short distance away from your local train station but
require a walking frame or aid, you are unable to travel by train without
relying on the kindness of strangers to help you down and up the 42 steps to the
platform.
This is restrictive and leaves vulnerable residents even more
vulnerable having to rely on strangers for help.  We see this as isolating
and not disabled friendly.
 
We are not talking here of a small village with a limited number of
commuters, Pokesdown is a busy station serving a wide and ever increasing
community which has been neglected for years despite extensive efforts made by
our local councillors and MP, and we are still none the wiser as to why access
to our station is denied to the disabled, elderly residents and
families.
 
It is also not acceptable that added travelling time and travel costs
are advised for our community to travel to other train stations which may have
no steep flights of steps to master but the disabled still must navigate through
various barriers and able bodied commuters.
 
We have a growing number of working professionals commuting daily to
London, plus many young students travelling to colleges in Bournemouth and
Brockenhurst. They use this train station on a daily basis, disabled students
with mobility problems would have to travel into Bournemouth or Christchurch
before they could get on a train. 
 
You will appreciate this has been an on going history of dialogue and
good intentions but as yet, no action plan has been decided or agreed upon and
having now exhausted all possible means to raise our concerns it is now in the
hands of whoever succeeds in securing the 2017 franchise.
 
If required we can supply you with media coverage, testimonials, more
photographic evidence, demographics, statistics and figures following our
progress and you can see more on our website and facebook page.
 
All we ask is that you look carefully at our on going commitment to seeking
the rightful improvements to Pokesdown Train
Station and the difference
this would make to our growing
community.
 
Regards
Committee,

Pokesdown Community Forum








               

Community Web Kit provided free by BT